IRVING, Texas — Terrell Owens wasn't on the field for the start of the Dallas Cowboys' mandatory offseason minicamp Tuesday, and the Pro Bowl receiver isn't expected to be around the rest of the week.

Coach Wade Phillips said Owens was excused from the three-day minicamp to attend to a personal family matter out of town.

"He didn't want to go into it, and I really don't want to either," Phillips said. "It's a family matter and just leave it at that. It's not anything more than that."

Owens was at the Valley Ranch facility Tuesday morning, but then left before the first of the team's two practice sessions to catch a flight.

Phillips said Owens talked to him Monday, but wouldn't elaborate on that conversation or where T.O. was going.

Messages left for Owens' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, weren't returned.

Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones didn't stop to talk to reporters while escorting sponsors and other guests off the field and into the building after heavy winds and an approaching thunderstorm cut short the team's morning workout.

"It wasn't anything that you guys would go crazy about," quarterback Tony Romo said, refusing to go into detail. "I don't think it's a big deal."

Owens participated in optional workouts the past four weeks. Heading into the final year of his contract, the 34-year-old receiver two weeks ago signed a three-year extension worth around $27 million through the 2011 season.

"Him missing time certainly is not a big deal, especially a veteran player that knows how to play and do the things and has worked as he has this offseason," Phillips said.

"He's been here so much. He's worked his butt off," Romo said. "I don't know that (being absent all week) would be a big deal. I'm sure he'll try to be here if he can."

Owens led the NFL with 13 touchdown catches in 2006 and had an NFC-best 15 more last year for a two-year total that is tops in the league. He has 166 catches for 2,535 yards in his two seasons with the Cowboys.

T.O. is ninth on the career receptions list with 882, 10th in receiving yards with 13,070 and third in touchdowns with 129 — the most among active players, and trailing only Jerry Rice (197) and Cris Carter (130).